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1866 East Alligator River to sea

On 9 June 1866 the explorers made their last camp (number 41) on the banks of the East Alligator River. Here McKinlay determined to make a raft. Using saplings for the framework and the hides of the horses and a tent, it was ready by 27 June. After a full day of rowing from the start of their voyage, and some 30 bends in the river, they found water, became clear of the river, and were at sea. Edmunds and McKinlay continued to argue about how best to manage the punt and the course they should take. There was little water and sharks were nosing around the punt, attracted by the pungent odour of the previously dried but rotting horse hides. Without water, the dried horsemeat became almost inedible; the men's suffering was extreme. They arrived at Escape Cliffs on 6 July.

For more information about McKinlay see SA Memory, Taking it to the edge: Land: John McKinlay.



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